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4 years ago

HTC rolls entire Internet with super secret not real dog voice app


Yes. You fell for it, too. Every last one of you. HTC today managed to troll pretty much everybody (OK, everybody who fell for it) with a cutesy little picture on Facebook about a super secret dog voice translation app. An app that doesn't exist.

HTC's been showcasing pets for a week now. But we played along, too. (My instructions were "Have fun with it.") So we'll raise a glass to the boys and girls in Bellevue and say "Well done, folks." Thanks for making us chuckle on a Friday afternoon. And to add one into the mix, there's my dog, Ben, as a puppy. Awwwwwwwww. Isn't that cute.

Repeat: There is no super secret HTC voice translation app.


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4 years ago

HTC teases 'dog translator' app


Update: HTC has confirmed that this is in fact just a joke, and they're not working on voice control tech for dogs or humans.

Original: The Galaxy S III might be "designed for humans," but HTC has just published photographic evidence of what seems to be an attempt to court the canine smartphone market. The manufacturer posted the image above on its official Facebook page, showing the HTC One X chatting it up with an unusually smartphone literate dog.

OK, so HTC probably isn't going into the field of animal behaviorology anytime soon, which means this is likely a not-so-subtle hint that HTC is set to join LG, Samsung and Apple in launching its own voice assistant app (OK, a Siri clone). Based on the image above, it looks like HTC's app will be able to manage appointments (such as walkies) and other general queries, much like Apple and Samsung's offerings. The big question will be how well the app's voice recognition features actually work, as we found this to be a major sticking point for S Voice, the Galaxy S III's voice control effort.

In any case, we'll be interested to see what HTC comes up with in this area, and how much of its Sense UI it's able to augment with the new voice-controlled tech.

Source: HTC on Facebook

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4 years ago

Will Google launch IaaS cloud services at Google I/O 2012?


Sources at GigaOm state that Google will be releasing their own IaaS (infrastructure as a service) cloud solution next week at Google I/O. This move would extend their current cloud services, like app engine, cloud connect, and storage, and allow users to rent virtual servers from the folks in Mountain View, bringing them in close competition with cloud giant Amazon.

In this scenario, two things come right to the front of our minds -- ChromeOS and Google Docs (Drive). Both services could be great front-ends for a cloud infrastructure that's set up by the user, especially in the enterprise. Imagine a corporate portal that you connect to as soon as you fire up your Chromebook, and your own IT department manages it all. Then imagine you can also connect with your Android phone. This could be a really big deal™.

Of course, for now it's just a rumor and we're speculating on how it could be used. But we'll know in a scant five days or so, as Phil, Alex, and myself will be front and center at Google I/O basking in all the Googly news. This year's I/O looks to be huge!

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4 years ago

Toshiba Thrive and Thrive 7 won't be getting ICS until the fall


Toshiba may have been aiming for a spring release of ICS for the original Thrive line of tablets, but apparently they missed the bullseye and have set things back until the fall. Users across the Internet are understandably upset, and rumblings speculate that they Thrive and Thrive 7 may never get ICS, but that's not what Toshiba said.

We are working hard to bring Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich to our Thrive tablets. While we originally estimated it would be ready this spring, we now estimate the update will be delivered to all Thrive 10” and 7” tablets by early fall. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

They don't give any reason for the delay, and we're not about to second guess them -- we're just here to deliver the news, good or bad. 

Source: Toshiba; via Phandroid

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4 years ago

Seidio Surface case for the HTC One X review


I do love the feel of the thin HTC One X in the hand. I also worry about how it would weather an unforeseen drop. 


Putting a case on your HTC One X is probably a worthwhile thing to do. A decent case costs way less than “insurance” on your new device and it can also make your phone stand out a bit from the crowd.

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4 years ago

AT&T: Just testing that Galaxy S II update; it'll be back 'very soon'


So the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the AT&T Galaxy S II kinda went live. Then it kinda didn't. And we've seen that happen wtih so many Samsung updates that we've kinda grown numb to it. But that doesn't mean we don't care. Here's the official word from AT&T corporate PR, which is a step or five over customer service chats.

We plan for the upgrade to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for Galaxy S II customers to be live very soon.  Like with every OS update, we test it on our servers before we roll it out to customers.  We’re in the process of doing that with Android 4.0 (ICS) for Galaxy S II customers and hope to make that live soon.  We recommend customers wait to attempt the update.

So that's why you saw it, and now you don't. AT&T tells us it'll have more info at its consumer blog here once the update goes live. Hang in there, folks.

More: Galaxy S II forums

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4 years ago

Shall we play a game? WarGames: WOPR may be the best 99 cents you spend all week


Any self-respecting nerd out there has seen WarGames at least 30 times. If not, hit up Netflix and come back when you're appropriately familiar with Joshua and the WOPR and Global Thermonuclear War. (And that applies to those of you too young to have ever seen the 1983 Matthew Broderick/Ally Sheedy flick.)

WarGames: WOPR brings the characters and rough storyline of the movie to your Android (and iOS) phones and tablets. The game itself is a basic puzzle game -- you make strings of three or more objects to remove them from the board. But you also have to defeat an opponent. You're the WOPR, playing against characters from the film. Launch missiles to beat them, collect cash, and basically try to destroy the planet in simulation. There are power-ups to be purchased along the way, and you'll have to snag them wisely to beat the latter levels. (And, of course, there's in-app purchasing to get more in-game cash so you can get the upgrades quicker.)

I've been surprisingly entertained by WarGames: WOPR. Maybe it's the fun of seeing the characters again. Maybe it's the sound effects, which have been pulled straight from the film. Maybe it's just the nerd in me remembering how cool it was to pretend we could use our modems to dial in (kids -- have your parents explain) to some strange company and learn its secrets. Or change our grades. 

Either way, this might well by the best buck you spend this week. And unlike the message of the movie, where the only winning move was not to play, you're going to have a hard time putting this one down.

We've got a slew of in-game screen shots for you after the break.

Download: WarGames: WOPR

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4 years ago

Samsung brings iTunes and iOS data to Galaxy devices with Easy Phone Sync


Samsung has announced that it's partnered with developer Mushroom Media to bring the company's Easy Phone Sync application to owners of Galaxy smartphones and tablets. As the name suggests, Easy Phone Sync is allows phones to transfer content from their PCs over a USB connection, with the particular focus being on importing music and other media from iTunes, and contacts and messages from iOS. The app, which will presumably be available for a fee at some point in the future, can be downloaded for free on Google Play if you've got a Galaxy device.

The app release and partnership with Mushroom Media is likely part of Samsung's plans to give iOS users an easy path from Apple's ecosystem to its own. Samsung has made no secret of its efforts to establish itself as a equal competitor to Apple, and the Korean manufacturer will be hoping to lure upgrading iPhone users to its Galaxy S III with apps like this. While Easy Phone Sync isn't anywhere near as polished as an Apple app, it's fast and functional enough to be of use to iOS converts making the switch to a Galaxy phone.

We've given Easy Phone Sync a quick test on the Galaxy S III, and it seems to work well enough. Inexplicably though, the phone app seems to run persistently in the background, leaving an unsightly notification in place at all times.  The phone all only serves to install a license key though, and after that it can be uninstalled. Regardless, persistent notifications are annoying, and make for a sub-par user experience -- on an officially-sanctioned app like this, there's no excuse.

You'll find today's presser from Samsung after the break, and download links below.

Download: Easy Phone Sync (Android), Easy Phone Sync (Mac, PC)

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4 years ago

Google Reader updated with tablet usability fixes


If you use Google Reader and an Android tablet, chances are you'll want to pick up the latest update for Google's RSS app, which contains some tablet-specific usability fixes. And that's it -- we haven't noticed any other changes in this version, and even on Honeycomb tablets the app seems pretty much the same.

In any case it's good to stay up to date, and the new version 1.1.5 of Google Reader is available to download now from Google Play. Existing users can fire up the Store app and head to "My Apps" to grab the update, or if you're new, we've included a download link below.

Download: Google Play Store

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4 years ago

Droid RAZR/RAZR MAXX get Ice Cream Sandwich!


Last night was just the teaser. Today's the day, folks. After so many rumored dates have come and gone, Verizon has made it official that the Motorola Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX -- twins in every way except for battery size -- will get their update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich starting June 22. Today. The update also will turn on GSM world roaming capabilities, update a number of Moto's apps, improve mobile hotspot performance and Bluetooth audio, and you've got a new settings menu as well.

So be on the lookout for this one today, and be sure to hit up our Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX forums to spread the world. You can find the full details of the update at the link below.

Update: Not to confuse matters, but Motorola's just put out a post of its own, saying "A select number of DROID RAZR by Motorola and DROID RAZR MAXX by Motorola owners will start receiving the upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich this week as part of our standard upgrade process; broader deployments will come over the coming days."

So Verizon says it's starting today, Motorola says it's starting slowly this week.

Source: Verizon, update changelog (pdf)

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4 years ago

Blueant Q2 Smart Bluetooth headset review


Using a Bluetooth headset – especially when you drive – should be standard practice. Some headsets, like the Blueant Q2 offer some very sophisticated features.

Bluetooth headsets come in lots of shapes and sizes. Some are bare bones and some utilize cutting edge noise cancelation technology and respond to voice commands.

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4 years ago

Android Central 100: Galaxy S III sorta in the U.S., Google IO is upon us


Audio-only stream below

As the title might have tipped you to, we've hit a milestone. It's Episode 100! Hear Phil scream like a little girl! Hear us talk ad nauseam about the Galaxy S III -- again! Hear our predictions for Google IO, which we'll be at next week. And hear nearly a dozen of your voicemails. It's our most epic podcast EVAH! (Video's still uploading. Stay tuned.)

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4 years ago

Flipboard for Android now available to the masses!


After running a short beta and having Samsung Galaxy S III exclusivity, the developers of Flipboard have gone ahead and opened the doors to the masses. The beta testing phase allowed for testing on numerous devices so you'll now be able to download Flipboard for Android not only from the Google Play Store but the Amazon App Store, Nook Store and right from within Samsung Apps.

We've given the "Magazine-style" reader a run through already but the official release does bring some new additions such as 14 localized editions—for Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, U.S. and U.K. Plus, it also now includes the freshly announced Google+ integration as well as YouTube integration allowing you to view any of your subscribed videos right within the app.

If you're looking for the download, the Google Play Store is the best bet right now as some of the options are still populating.

Download: Flipboard for Android

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4 years ago

Motorola updates Droid RAZR page with ICS details and features


Motorola has updated the Droid RAZR page, and it's now full of information and details about the forthcoming Ice Cream Sandwich update. Nothing is ever official until it's official, but word is that we'll be seeing the ICS OTA for the RAZR family sometime next week, so this would be very timely if that were to happen. Moto is going deep with the info here, offering up short videos for things like the lock screen, widgets, home screen customizations, and even a very well done complete overview of the changes.

We'll let you watch them all for yourselves, but we have to say it looks very well done. Hopefully the update process goes smoothly, and mostly bug-free, so the wait stings a bit less. Check em all out at the link below.

Source: Motorola

Discuss everything RAZR in the Droid RAZR forums

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4 years ago

Nike+ Android app finally released!


Hey, all you runners out there who have been tirelessly hoofing it, waiting for the Android version of the Nike+ app. It's here. Finally.

Nike tonight announced the Nike+ Running App for Android, which, as you'd expect, connects you to, making exercise social. But chances are you already knew that. Get your download on at the link below, and get back out there. Because there is no finish line.

Download: Nike+ for Android

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